Coaching is Jones' game plan
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
He walked into the football coach's office one spring day, just weeks before his graduation from high school.
His coach had an idea for the former player's future occupation, and told him of the plan.
The player thought about it for a few days and then decided the idea was a good one.
"Coach (Mike Smith) asked me about going into coaching," Hartselle High grad Kevin Jones said. "He said I should go to Tuscaloosa and help him out. He said if I finished college and got a teaching certificate he would have a full time spot for me on his staff.
"I thought about it for two weeks. I decided it's what I wanted to do. I talked it over with my parents, and they supported my decision 100-percent." Jones, who graduated from Hartselle in 2003, is now a sophomore at Shelton State Community College.
He followed Smith to Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa, after Smith left Hartselle for the Jaguar's head coaching position. Jones is a volunteer assistant coach tutoring the quarterbacks at Northridge.
"I teach them all the techniques Coach Smith taught me when I played," Jones said.
"I show them how to read the option play and how to sell the fake on a play-action pass. I teach them the techniques that will make them better players."
Jones feels his senior season at Hartselle, when the Tigers won played four postseason games, is when Smith perceived he had the capability of teaching the game to others.
"Coach Smith told the seniors we had to fill leadership roles," Jones said. "I was one of the ones who stepped up and helped show the way for the younger players."
"I saw how hard those guys were working and being active leaders," Jones said. "I wanted to be a good leader, too. I think our leadership showed in the results-we made the semi-finals that year."
Jones' fondest memories of the 2002 season are of the three wins in the postseason, he helped engineer.
Jones, whose coaching duties don't allow him time to see the Tigers play, plans to attend a Hartselle playoff game should the Tigers qualify for the postseason and Northridge does not. "I'd love to see my younger brother (Tiger linebacker Johnny Jones) play," Jones said. "I haven't seen him play in high school. It would be very special for me to watch him play."
Jones plans on transferring to The University of Alabama after graduating from Shelton to prepare to be a high school history teacher.
Jones hopes to get a teaching certificate after graduating from the Capstone and then join Smith's coaching staff full time. Jones looks forward to the day he begins coaching full time.
"Coaching fits me perfect," Jones said. "Because, even if I can't play anymore, I'm still around the game of football."